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UK’s Women in Safe Homes fund reports positive outcomes

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Published: 29 August 2023

Launched in 2020 as a joint venture of Resonance and Patron Capital, the fund has provided safe, secure and stable homes to over 120 women and children.

The Women in Safe Homes fund aims to support over 1,000 women and children with housing needs | Fizkes on iStock

The Women in Safe Homes (WISH) fund is a gender-lens impact investment property fund helping address the UK’s housing crisis for women escaping domestic abuse, leaving the criminal justice system, or at risk of homelessness.

50% of the women housed by the fund are domestic abuse survivors, with women leaving the criminal justice system making up the second largest group of tenants.

Launched in December 2020 as a joint venture of Resonance and Patron Capital, the fund has 20 social impact investors from the UK and US.

According to the fund’s latest impact report, at the end of June 2023, the fund was successfully housing and supporting 77 women and 43 children.

The report contains some of these women’s stories and outcomes: 91.5% of women housed reported a positive impact on their wellbeing and life outcomes; 87% of women agree or strongly agree that they feel safe in their home; and 83% of women have reported improved mental health since living in their home.

Daniel Brewer, CEO of Resonance, tells us that “the learning to date, shows an increasing trend of positive outcomes amongst tenants including improvements in mental health and that they feel safe in their new home”.

Brewer adds: “We are delighted with the impact the Women In Safe Homes fund has achieved to date, with over 120 women and children housed by the fund so far in safe, secure and stable homes.”

But there is a long way to go. Brewer points to estimates that 70% of domestic abuse survivors have a housing need and that there has been a 38% increase in domestic abuse being given as the reported reason for private tenancies ending. In addition, 47% of women leaving the criminal justice system don’t have a settled home to go to.

Over the fund’s lifetime, it now has an ambition to purchase 120 homes and to house and support over 1,000 women and children. The initial target was to raise £100m (€117m), however, prior to the fundraising period ending, a decision was taken to stop further fundraising at £29m.

Back in January, Brewer observed: “The current turmoil in the UK has resulted in a very ‘interesting’ real estate market at present. I think we have no alternative but to hold back and see what happens.”

Looking ahead, Brewer says: “Our main focus is now on deploying quickly the remainder of the capital raised, as we are well aware that unfortunately with every day that passes, there are more and more women and children who are escaping domestic abuse and in need of a safe place to call home.”

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